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Prior to the sudden spike in SUV and crossover sales, people used to look in the direction of sedans and hatchbacks when on the lookout for a new addition to their garage. The Volkswagen Golf GTI remained a stellar offering back then, as it does now, over 40 years after its inception. The 7th generation model flaunts a subtle facelift for 2018, along with a slight boost in power figures. Will it still be as good as the old one? Let’s find out.
Subtle yet not to be mistaken with boring, the Volkswagen Golf GTI flaunts a honeycomb grille with a bright red line that not only underlines the grille but races into the LED headlamp clusters. Hidden beneath its 18-inch alloys are bright red calipers, while a rear spoiler aids in the aesthetic and performance departments.
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On the inside, red stitching and red accents are complimented by chrome inserts while a leather-wrapped steering wheel proudly flaunts bold GTI letting as a constant reminder of the legend you’re seated in. Soft rubber forms the base of the dashboard while hard plastics are restricted to the lower half of the cabin.
The 12-way adjustable Vienna leather seats are perforated and supremely supportive, providing plenty of support when making full use of that sonorous engine. There is ample room in the back seats and 4 people can travel in reasonable comfort. You have decent practicality within the doors, the center console and the glove compartment.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces a mighty impressive 230 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque in top trim. The engine delivers its grunt in a linear fashion while the brakes respond efficiently to commands. The 6-speed DSG gearbox, with its exciting snorts on upshifts and downshifts, allow the German hatchback to hit 100km/h from a standstill in just over six seconds.
Part of the GTI’s skill set is its adaptability, with which it effortlessly swaps from a track-annihilating hot hatch to a comfortable city cruiser. When you put it into comfort mode, the first thing you will notice is the reduced sound and how well the suspension adapts to absorb imperfections in the road. Safety features aren’t exactly lacking with parking sensors in the front and back, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring.
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The Volkswagen Golf GTI 2018 looks sharp, fresh, and dynamic without being overblown. For an everyday car with a plenty of fun, the GTI is the go-to option. In fact, for what it is and for the price it’s at, it’s quite easily the King of hot hatches.